The Bachelorette Charity Lawson Explains Her Controversial First Impression Rose Decision

Charity Lawson gave Brayden her first impression rose in The Bachelorette season 20 premiere, despite her brother's warning. She defended her decision to E! News.

By Tierney Bricker Jun 27, 2023 3:00 AMTags
Watch: Charity Lawson Explains Giving Brayden First Rose Despite CONCERNS

We guess there's a reason the saying is mother—not brother—knows best.

In The Bachelorette's season 20 premiere on June 26, Charity Lawson began her journey to find love, meeting her 25 suitors outside of the iconic Bachelor mansion. And the 27-year-old child and family therapist had some unexpected help on her first night thanks to her older sibling Nehemiah Lawson, who donned a disguise and worked as a bartender to eavesdrop on the men's conversations in the hope of finding out who was really there for the right reasons.

And one contestant who immediately raised a red flag for Nehemiah: Brayden Bowers, the 24-year-old travel nurse with an affinity for earrings. The problem? Charity was into Brayden. Like, really into Brayden, so when Nehemiah expressed his concerns about the contestant prior to Charity handing out her first impression rose, our Bachelorette faced her first major obstacle as the lead.

In a surprising move, Charity decided to give Brayden her first rose of the season, despite Nehemiah's warning. 

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"My decision to give Brayden the first impression rose truly boiled down to just how I felt in the moment with Brayden," Charity told E! News in an exclusive interview. "We obviously had this chemistry right off the bat, but our conversation was easy and it was just organic."


In a marathon night of small talk, their chat "was effortless," she continued, "and that was refreshing considering all of the conversations that I'm having all night, I just felt like I really didn't have to be on in the moment, which was nice."

As for why she ultimately overlooked Nehemiah's comments about Brayden's perceived arrogance, "Obviously, I'm on the other side," Charity explained. "So I don't get to see everything that goes on behind the scenes. Obviously, I didn't see any of it because I did not hear Brayden talk about it."

Because of that, Charity said she was willing to give Brayden "the benefit of the doubt," especially because it was night one. 

"I felt what I felt in that moment for a reason and it's okay, I don't have to ask him right now," she reasoned. "I just took it as Brayden is acting as a schoolgirl and is really excited and giddy."

However, Charity acknowledged the possibility of Brayden taking a villainous turn, teasing, "Stay tuned to see if that giddiness turns into true cockiness."

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While Charity was confident in her first impression rose decision, she admitted to feeling pressure as the lead after finishing in the top four of Zach Shallcross' season of The Bachelor.

"It's nearly impossible to please everyone, but people have an idea of when you are the Bachelorette of how you should carry yourself or who you should be choosing," she said. "It's all of these things weighing on you, but it's also trying  to prioritize myself because ultimately, at the end of the day, this is my journey."

The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on ABC.